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Painting and Decorating Cypress 
Dwellings and Structures 

With Prepared Paints 

Southern Cypress Manufacturers' Association 

Poydras Building. 
New Orleans, Louisiana 


'TTm Wooa Mttmar 

Graham Building 
Jacksonville. Rorida 

We have not attempted to give all the details of painting in this 
pamphlet, merely suggestions. There are many things to consider, 
the weather one of the important ones. Good brushes must be used, 
there is no economy in a cheap brush, the best brush obtainable is 
the economy. There are special brushes for all the different kinds 
of jobs that need to be done. As to paint, the best is the kind to get, 
cheap paints mean a cheap job. There is a difference in the work on 
old and new buildings, floors and interior wood work. This applies 
to paint, varnish and stain. Do not attempt the work without proper 
understanding of priming, the right brushes and paints. Keep brushes 
clean when not in use, and they will last a long time. We invite cor- 
respondence on this subject, and will endeavor to supply details on 

Identify Genuine ''Tide Water" Red Cypress 
by this Trade Mark 




Painting and Decorating Cypress 
Dwellings and Structures 

a«U of most ftood palntinjl. HENRY A. GARDNER. Institute of Paint & Varnl«h Research. \Va«hinaton D C?^* 

Copyright, 192:5. by 11 A Guninr-r 

^^YPRESS is universally recognized as one of the 
li most durable wo(xls for general construction pur 
poses. Hundreds of examples of the longevity of 
this wood are to be found in the old colonial dwellmgs 
of the Southern and Middle Atlantic States. Enthus- 
iastic users have stated that cypress needs no paint 
Even if this should be so, people would look askance 
at the dwelling that was left uni)ainted. for the mtxl- 
em desire for commu- 
nity betterment de- 

mands aesthetic sur- 
roundings and proper- 
ly decorated homes. As 
a matter of fact, how- 
ever, paint helps to in- 
crease the hfe of any 
species of wood, be- 
cause it keeps out 
moisture and fungi, the 
first effects of which 
are shown by surface 

The question has 
often been asked as to 
the holding power of 
paint upon cypress 
wood. This question 
can be answered by 
stating that cypress 
takes and holds prop- 
erly prepared paint 
with highly satisfac- 
tory results, provided 
the paint is properly 
applied. Painters at 
one time had no under- 
standing of the dis- 
tinctive nature and 

properties of cypress and they naturally made the mis- 
take of treating it like any other type of wood. The 
researches of the lumber expert, however, have shown 
that cypress contains an oily ingredient known as Cy- 
pressine, which seldom appears upon the surface of the 
wood, but which may be the active agent that gives to 
cypress its remarkable durability. The painter and 


paint expert have made their contribution to the sub- 
ject by demonstrating that remarkable painting re- 
sults may be obtained by the application of paints 
thinned with certain volatiles. which will cause an 
amalgamation of the priming ardt with the Cypressine 
contained in the pcjres of the wo(xi. producing a com- 
jx>site bonding coat that is undisturbed by ex|x>sure 
to the elements. 

Prtnnf)les of Sue- 
cesijul Painting.~Tht 
failure of paint to give 
the expected service 
uj)on any type of wood 
is due in a majority of 
cases to factors which 
may easily be over- 
come by the observ- 
ance of principles 
which have been de- 
veloped as a result of 
many practical tests. 
The most imp^^rtant of 
these is to avoid paint- 
ing during damp 
weather. Dampness 
prevents proper pen- 
etration of the paint 
into the wood, delays 
the hardening or dry- 
ing of the film, and 
produces a soft coat- 
ing that may be af- 
fected by the weather. 
Often the dampness 
which may be drawn 
out through a new 
house from the fresh 
plaster will affect the 
paint and cause blisters to form. For these reasons it 
IS very necessary that all exterior painting work should 
be done upon properly dried surfaces during a dry pe- 
riod of weather. Another factor which must be care- 
fully avoided is the use of shellac over knots or sappy 
surfaces. When paint is applied over such shellacked 
surfaces, no penetration is obtained and the action of 


the weather will cause flaking and scaling at such spots. 
The use of ochre as a priming coat on new wooden sur- 
faces should also be carefully avoided. Probably more 
cases of failure have been caused by this material than 
any other. 

Selecting a Paint.— In selecting a paint for the 
dwelling the property owner should understand that 
best results are obtained with paints made by the thor- 
ough grinding of pig- 
ments and oils in the 
powerful machinery 
that is used by the 
manufacturer. The 
property owner should 
also be taught that the 
most durable results 
from exterior painting 
are obtained from the 
use of tinted paints. 
Permanent colors 
which are ground by 
machine into lead and 
zinc paints have the 
effect of increasing the 
durability of such 
paints by 30 per cent 
or more. Of course, in 
some instances white 
is the color that gives 
the most harmonious 
effect, but in most 
cases, tinted paints 
should be selected. The 
majority of the high- 
grade Prepared Paints 
to be purchased from 
reliable dealers in any 
city will give the most 
highly satisfactory- re- 
results, as they closely 
approximate the pre- 
pared paint that is 
called for in the speci- 
fications of the U. S 

Spreading Rale oi Paints on Wooden Surfaces.— 
Paints ready to apply will spread from 500 to 800 feet 
per gallon, one coat. The average spreading rate, how- 
ever, of the paint for three-coat work, when well 
brushed out, is generally reported as about 200 to 
250 feet. 


Cost of Painting:— The number of gallons required 
for a job may be estimated by figuring out the square 
feet of surface to be coated and dividing by 225. For 
two-coat work, divide by 350. The cost of application 
will depend entirely upon w^age scales in various com- 
munities and upon whether the work is done by an em- 
ploye or the property owner himself. The use of spray 

machines for large sur- 
faces will greatly re- 
duce the cost of appli- 



Siding and General Out- 
side Trim and Mis- 
cellaneous Construc- 
tion , Including 
Porches, Columns, 
Cornices, Balusters, 
Pergolas, Arbors, 
Trellises, Lattice 
Work, Greenhouse 
and Conservatory 

It is usually advis- 
able to carefully follow 
the directions that may 
be found on the can 
label. When direc- 
tions are absent the fol- 
ing will serve: 

Priming Coat. — If 
old surfaces are to be 
repainted, all loose 
paint should be re- 
moved with a coarse 
wire brush. The backs 
of all window and door 
frames and other ex- 
terior millwork, if not 
suitably primed at the 
mill, should be primed befor se tting. If the surface is 
new and has not previously been painted, any knots 
or streaks which are shown should first be brush-coated 
with turpentine about one hour previous to the applica- 
tion of the paint. 

The Prepared Paint should be thoroughly stirred 

•See Federal Specification Board StAndard Specification No. 10. white and light tinted experior paints. U. S. Printing Office. Tbe«e 
painta contain not less than 30 per cent one oxide, the balance being white lead; not over 15 per cent of inert pignaenU is allowed. 


and two pints of turpentine* should be added to the 
gallon of paint. After thorough stirring, the paint 
should, be applied and thoroughly worked into the sur- 
face. The paint will penetrate deeply into the wood 
and dry to a hard under-coating, providing a substan- 
tial foundation for subsequent coats of paint, t 

Second Coat. — After the priming coat has become 
thoroughly dry and hard, which will require at least 
three days (preferably a week should be allowed if 
possible), all nail holes and other imperfections in the 
wood should be closed 
with a good grade of 
pure linseed-oil putty. 
The second coat of 
paint may then be ap- 
plied as it comes from 
the can in prepared 
form without thinning. 
If, however, the paint 
appears to be some- 
what heavy, a pint of 
turpentine to the gallon 
of paint may be added. 

Finishing Coat, — 
After the second coat 
has become thoroughly 
dry. a third coat of 
paint may be applied 
as it comes from the 
can. Much better re- 
sults are obtainable, 
however, if the tw^o- 
coated job is allowed 
to weather for a period 
of three or four months, 
subsequently applying 
the finishing coat of 
paint to the well-sea- 
soned structure. 
The exterior of the above-named structures may 
be treated exactly as given above for the painting of 
the exterior of dwellings; in fact, this procedure is to be 
preferred, since the color scheme of the various struc- 
tures upon a farm or other piece of property should be 
carefully considered by the owner. In some cases, how- 
ever, it is desired to use a cheaper form of paint for 



barns and such buildings. In such instances a high- 
grade Prepared Barn Paint— preferably of the metallic 
paint variety — may be selected and applied. The own- 
er should carefully observe those requirements of ap- 
plication previously pointed out. 

The constant abrasion of surfaces exposed to walk- 
ing requires that they be coated with paints that are 
highly abrasion-resistant. For this purpose specially 
designed Porch Floor Paints should be used. These 

contain finely ground, 
hard, abrasion-resist- 
ing minerals ground in 
a weather-resisting 
varnish vehicle. When 
applied to porch floors, 
the first coat should be 
thinned with turpen- 
tine. The second and 
third coats may then 
be applied without re- 
duction. Two or three 
days drying between 
coats should be allow- 
ed. The finished floor 
will present a glossy, 
wear-resisting, mois- 
ture-proof surface that 
may be flushed with 
water whenever neces- 







Such structures 

should preferably be 

J painted, following out 


the practice given above for the exterior of dwellings 
built of cypress siding. When stained surfaces are de- 
sired, all exterior surfaces should be brush-coated with 
a high-grade Creosote Stain of approved manufac- 
ture, the color to be selected by the owner or architect. 
Two weeks should be allowed for drying of the first 
coat. A second coat may then be applied if desired. 

The sash and other trim of the bungalow should be 
painted — preferably in white or in light colors — to form 
a contrast with the dark effects produced by the stain. 

•160 per cent Benzol, called high flash naphtha, a water-white coal-tar di^tiUate i. even more satisfactory than turpentine for prim- 
ing work, when obtainable. 

u«d!l?tXlasily" ^eredtd Xive •addf^ional.ufe .o't°he work When complete hiding i. desired with two coat, of white, titanium- 
«iuc paint would accomplish the purpose satisfactorily. 



For natural finish, the woodwork should be thor- 
oughly cleansed and rough spots if present should be 
sanded. A very thin coat of white shellac should then 
be applied. Nail holes and other imperfections should 
be filled with putty colored to match the wood. Two 
coats of an approved Interior Finish Varnish should sub- 
sequently be applied, the last coat being flowed on. 
Sandpaper between coats with 00 sandpaper and allow 
each coat 48 hours for drying. When a flat finish is 
desired, Dull Finish Varnishes may be used or, in place 
thereof, a coat of approved finishing wax. rubbed and 
polished to a semi-flat finish. 

Stained Work. — When the cypress woodwork is to 
be stained, it should first be thoroughly cleaned and 
made free from imperfections. A prepared stain should 
be selected made on a linseed -oil base and containing 
benzol in order to obtain good penetration. Prepared 
acid stains or water stains may also be used. After 
application and drying, sandpaper lightly, close nail 
holes with putty to match stain, then apply two coats 
of approved Interior Finish Varnish, sandpapering 
lightly between coats. For a flat surface, lightly rub 
with oil and pumice stone or apply one coat of Dull 
Finish Varnish, or wax. 


Clean the floors to remove grease or stains so that 
they will be in good condition to receive the finish. For 
natural color finish, apply one very thin coat of white 
shellac, rub lightly with 00 sandpaper and apply two 
coats of best Floor Varnish, rubbing lightly with oil 
and pumice stone if a dull finish is desired. The var- 
nished surface may be treated with a coat of prepared 
floor wax and rubbed and polished. The use of a thin 
coat of flc^r varnish in place of the shellac primer gives 
a more durable film. 

Stained Floors. — After thoroughly cleansing the sur- 
face, apply one coat of linseed-oil prepared stain. After 
dr>^ing. apply two or three coats of best Floor Varnish. 
Wax if desired. 


In some rooms it is desirable that the doors, frames, 
base-boards, window-sills, and other interior trim should 
be finished in white or light colored paints. A high- 
grade prepared paint (Interior White; made by a rep- 
utable manufacturer should be selected. Such paints 
are ground in a very light colored varnish or oil me- 
dium. For the priming coat there should be added 
two pints of turpentine to a gallon of paint. A thin 
coat of the thoroughly stirred mixture should be ap- 
plied, thoroughly brushing it in. After dr>'ing, the 
imperfections should be puttied up and two or three 

coats of the Interior White should be applied in the 
desired color, allowing several days between each coat 
for thorough drying. If varnish is applied over the 
paint, it should be a good Interior Finishing Varnish, 
colored with the finishing tint of pigment. 


The most attractive finish for cypress trim is that 
produced by the use of high quality interior enamels. 
Dining-rooms, bath-rooms, halls, stairways, and kitch- 
ens should be finished with such enamels unless there 
is a special desire to use some other form of treatment. 
If any knots are apparent in the wood, they should be 
freshly coated with turpentine. Apply a priming coat 
of a prepared paint (Interior White). The nail holes 
and imperfections should then be filled with putty. 
Apply a very thin coat of white shellac. Next apply 
two coats of prepared Interior White or of Prepared 
Flat Finish Paint. Then apply one coat consisting of 
half paint and half enamel. Then apply one full flow- 
ing coat of white enamel.' Sandpaper lightly between 
coats after thorough drying. The enameled coats, 
when a satin finish is desired, may be lightly rubbed 
with water and powdered pumice. 


Shingle roofs will undoubtedly continue in use as 
long as frame structures are built, since they possess 
distinctive advantages over all other types of roofing. 
Among these may be mentioned their low cost, light 
weight and longevity. To add to their attractiveness 
and to make them moisture-resisting and fire-retard- 
ant, paints are now being applied in various colors, 
such as slate, green, and maroon. As a result of many 
years of tests it has been found that such paints are 
best prepared from linseed oil and mineral pigments, 
the latter being in excess in order to form, when ap- 
plied, a dried film of high mineral content. High-grade 
prepared mineral-linseed-oil paints designed especially 
for service on shingle roofs (Fire-Retardant Shingle 
Paints) are now on the market and are obtainable in 
any locality from reputable dealers. The shingles may 
be dipped before laying, and subsequently brush-coat- 
ed, or the new shingles may, if well seasoned, be brush - 
coated after laying without fear of dry rot. The rain 
water from roofs treated in this fashion should be 
tasteless and colorless. The service to be expected from 
such paints should be from five to six years without 


Cypress tanks have a very wide use. For the sake 
of decoration, in many establishments they are painted 
on the outside. The appearance of such tanks if prop- 
erly painted is highly attractive, especially in places 



such as breweries, creameries, cheese factories, dis- 
tilleries, laundries, food and meat packing establish- 
ments, greenhouses, etc. The interiors are seldom, if 
ever, painted, the Cypressine contained in the natural 
wood probably being responsible for the fact that cy- 
press tanks do not give taste or odor to most liquids 
which may be placed therein. For painting the ex- 
terior of such tanks, apply three successive coats of 
prepared paint, thinning the priming coat with tur- 
pentine as instructed for exterior work. If a highly 
sanitary enamel finish is desired, apply a coat of White 
Enamel or Gloss Mill White over the last coat of paint, 
which should be made semi-flat with turpentine. Al- 
low each coat three days or more for thorough drying. 


All interior walls and ceilings of plaster or cement 
are to be coated with three coats of Sanitary Flat Wall 
Lithopone Paints* of the oil type, in colors to be se- 
lected by the owner. The lighter colors are to be pre- 
ferred in most rooms, as they give the greatest amount 
of illumination. Light buff, blue, and other tints are 
usually applied to the walls and light cream or white 
to the ceilings. Harmonious color effects are thus pro- 
vided. The paints are washable and may be kept in 
a perfectly sanitary condition. When applying the 
priming coat of paint, one quart of raw linseed oil and 
one-half gill of drier to the gallon of Flat Finish is 
often used. 

•See Federal Specification Board Standard Specification No 
oil or varnish liquia. 

21, U. S. Printing Office. These paints are made of lithopone and a flat